RAY – Yellow


RAY’s colorful saga continues: the shoegaze idol group aims to both soothe and excite with their latest EP Yellow.

For our last batch of reviews, I’d been covering groups who were really bringing the heat with some high energy and fun releases. This time I decided I’d go back into some review suggestions to find my next subject and came across RAY’s latest effort, Yellow, which follows in suit with their last two releases titled Blue and Pink. What heavily intrigued me about this group was the fact that they dabble in the realm of shoegaze: a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that makes use of heavy distortion, ethereal nature and high volume. Even more interesting were the producing credits, so I just knew I had to check this one out.

Yellow is a four track EP that was released on June 19th through DISTORTED RECORDS, with an 18 minute run time, so it makes for a pretty quick listen. The first song, “Koharuhi” was produced by Tomoya Matsuura, member of the shoegaze band monocism. Straight out the gate you get that wide open, atmospheric sound that the genre is known for alongside some subtle feedback. The vocals are soft, but full of heart, and the members harmonize well together. With it’s light guitar work and mid-tempo drums, the track makes for a nice and relaxed listen, keeping this consistency throughout. The second track, “Reignition”, has a little more pep in its step as well as more upfront pop influence. Though it was produced by Ishikawa of the noise pop band my dead girlfriend, it’s not as wild as one might think. However, it does have the right amount of bounce to bring the listener out from the almost hypnotic nature of the previous song. The drums and guitars are more energetic and the vocals in the chorus are nice; there’s also a neat little guitar solo around the 2 minute mark.

Track three, “17”, has the most interesting producing credit yet: Kei Toriki of post-black metal band Asunojokei. The song opens with a very dreampop-esque soundscape, buzzing and glittery with a touch of distortion. It also has a fair amount of switch ups to keep the song interesting, at the 1:55 and 2:42 marks, and a real satisfying climax towards the end. The final song, “Rusty Days”, brings back a chilled vibe with a simple and sweet ballad track. Much like the opener, the vocals are sweet and true and the chorus contains a mix of Japanese and English. The beat sounds like something you’d find at the end of a feel good film, eliciting a light feeling of happiness in the heart. All in all, it’s a solid finisher.

If you’re looking for something to cool off the summer heat then look no further than Yellow, and while you’re at it, check out the group’s previous works! Plus, with the inclusion of a fourth member as of July, there’s a new voice to look forward to in RAY‘s future projects.

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